Total DOS Collection Release 13
Total DOS Collection (TDC) release #13 - 13-feb-2017
You may already be familiar with TDC- the project has been ongoing for over 8 years now. We release a snapshot of the archive's state every six months. Each snapshot supersedes the previous one, as new files are added and others are subject to being renamed as typos and better game identification becomes available.
If this is your first experience with TDC, below is a list of our goals and project guidelines.
1) We are identifying and archiving every piece of DOS based software that was even mildly entertaining. That means all games, edutainment titles, typing tutors, even print kits can make it.* To attempt to limit the scope into something remotely manageable, we have to limit the scope to only DOS and only games. In other words, nothing for Windows or OS/2 here, and you won't find Norton Utilties either. This could be viewed as simple piracy. We prefer to view it as an historical archive of a body of work. The value of the data contained within this archive outweighs the profit motivations of any individual or corporation from a now outdated gaming platform. The body of work is distributed for free.
* There are some things that just don't make the cut: Lottery pickers, Sports statistics programs, quotes of the day, horoscopes, some non-gamey trivia and tutorial programs. Yes, it is somewhat arbitrary, but the focus is on fun. As the project continues to evolve, programs like this will likely get pulled into the archive as we run out of games to process.
2) We are archiving, even just for identification sake for now, every possible variation of everything in #1. Every version, language, every crack and hack. Exceptions here are "installers" in which the game is simply a self-extracting .exe file with perhaps an ugly install.bat file. We also don't include re-bundled shareware games where the only difference in the zip are non-game related files, such as catalogs, vendor info, registration forms, etc. Only if the game itself is different.
3) We are trying to name all of these files using a consistent methodology. It is based off the TOSEC naming standards. Look it up, or take a peek at the listing of files here. This is more than a simple re-hash of existing DOS collections.
4) We attempt to provide clean files. No BBS ads, no pirate group NFOs, we even attempt to weed out savegames and high score files, although that is sometimes an easy thing to skip over. Everything that was originally included with the game is what should be included in these zip files, with minor exceptions such as TSR/cracks required to get a game to run, (see #9 too) or perhaps a handy batch file to launch the game. Many zips may have audio card setup files included in them to make it easier to launch the game. Since these are typically created by the game itself and can save you time, those are ok.
5) Be patient if you don't find a favorite game in there yet. This project is a hobby that has gone on for nearly a decade. They will all get in here someday.
6) There are no known viruses in the collection. Your virus scanner may go off on some of these, but the most likely cause is heuristic scanning. There is absolutely no chance of a windows virus infecting any of these DOS files.I urge you to use an online scanner such as jotti if you suspect something. Please check the notes pages in the lists folder too- we may have already scanned something suspicious (like the durell virus reports in Saboteur II).
If you do find something, let us know so it can be removed immediately.
7) We still need your help. There are lots of games we don't have yet, and even more we don't even know we're missing. Please keep any eye out and think of us! If you come across an old shoebox of floppies in the back of your closet, reach out and contact us. We will gladly sift through your files!
8) The notes pages often contain valuable information if a game requires any special settings for DOSBox, or information on why a game tagged with [a1] or [b1]. If you are having a problem with getting a game running, check there 1st.
9) Every game should be cracked or provide a means to make it cracked if the game uses copy protection. It is of course possible that we've overlooked something- please let us know. Check the DOCS folder and/or wiki notes too. If an uncracked version of a game file exists, and we are able to locate it, it will be included in the archive, renamed to (for example) GAME.EX_
10) Games which cannot be archived as files inside a zip (such as booter floppy disks or CD games with audio tracks) are included as mountable images of that game. The particular formatting of the image depends on what kind of data is included. [we haven't done much with CD images yet, stay tuned]
11) We use ZIP archiving. People can and do use this archive on actual DOS machines, which makes zip the common denominator for widely accepted compression.
12) Every game is in the "root" of the zip file. This collection is designed as an "unzip and run" archive.
12) We do not use torrentZip. It destroys timestamps. Until that's changed, we won't even touch it. There are games in here that have been torrentzipped. Sorry, that's sometimes the way we got them. When possible, they get replaced with un-mangled versions.
13) Every zip includes some form of file_id.diz. If the game originally was released with one (such as Apogee titles) it should still be intact. If no file_id.diz was included originally, one is created based off the filename. We do this so that even zip files put onto a DOS machine can still be identified even after the filename has been truncated down to 8 characters. (remember that limit?)
14) We compile a .dat file and maintain a database of what is in the archive and what is inside each zip file. This is for identification purposes and where a large portion of the interest in this archive comes from. We look at this as an identification project as much as an historical archive to be used for research as well as fun.
15) Stop reading and start playing!
- Internet Archive Python library 1.4.0
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